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Bomp-chicka-wow-wow…. November 28, 2006

Posted by marymac in yarn.

I don’t normally do this kind of thing (I know, I know, that’s what they all say), but one of my co-workers gifted me with some fancy-shmancy yarn yesterday (she’s destashing, or possibly giving up knitting [no, I don’t know how that works, either] or something — whatever, the yarn is mine now). So in lieu of the usual well thought-out prose (yeah, yeah — less thinking, more proseing), StoryValue would like to present… yarn pr0n.

Just as a reminder, I am a lousy photographer to begin with and I took these photos in my poorly-lit apartment, so if this was pr0n pr0n instead of yarn pr0n, it would be the kind where the camera shakes a lot and the woman with fake boobs and too much makeup is only wearing a teddie when the pizza guy shows up at the door. Not that I know anything about that sort of thing. *polishes halo* Also, Blondie and Buffy should know that I’m really, really sorry to do this to people who do not knit.

Aaaanyway, the yarniness (click for big!):

Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hand Dyes in pink. I have no idea what this is going to be, because I’m not into the bulky yarns and there are only four hanks. Perhaps I can find some deserving person who likes pink out there….

Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. It looks kind of green in this picture, but the color is a little more khaki in real life. I have four balls of this — I think it’s going to be a little something for my nephew, possibly Cargo.

More pink! This is Rowan Calmer, which I’d never petted before. It is loverly. I have Plans for the Calmer, but I can’t tell you what they are. (Well, I can, but then I’d have to kill you, and I’m trying to keep the yarn clean.) Moving on….

Frog Tree Alpaca in purple,

and purpler.

No idea what’s going to end up happening to this stuff. I only have a few balls of it altogether.

Alchemy Yarns Bamboo. One teeny hank, and who knows what it will be. But it’s purple and soft and my friend insisted I take it.

Then we have some Rowan Cotton Rope.

Lots of Cotton Rope. If I liked to wear green and was possessed of less boobage (and less me-age in general), it would make a nice tank top or something. Which means I have no idea what it’s going to be.

And finally, there’s this:

I have no idea what this is. It seems wool-ish, but there’s no ball band and my friend doesn’t remember what it is. She insisted that I take it because it would make a really good baby hat (see nephew comment, above). I’m not generally a fan of the variegated yarn, but who am I to argue when it comes with the rest of this loot?

That’s it — I’m all pr0ned out. Stay tuned for more of your regularly scheduled ranting.


mmmm….booooook….. November 20, 2006

Posted by marymac in books, Feeling historical, Me me me!.

When I was a kid, I was afraid to close my eyes in the bath, which made rinsing my hair a long, complicated process. (Don’t laugh — it isn’t even the looniest of my childhood fears, I promise.) This was because of my dad’s little habit of watching horror movies while my (very young) person was in the room and (he thought) preoccupied with a book or a game or a fight with my little brother (also, we only had one tv with cable and he liked to be the boss of it). I have, however, always been good at multitasking and absorbed a lot more than he realized at the time.

The movie that inspired The Bathtub Thing is The Changeling. It’s about a guy who moves into a house where a kid was drowned in the bathtub and Scary Stuff happens. Or something — seriously, even now reading the plot summary creeps me out, so you’ll have to do it yourselves. I’ll wait here under the covers. With all the lights on.


See? Scary, right? Even people who like that kind of thing say so. You’d be traumatized, too.

The thing is, it’s just movies. I can read scary novels and not bat an eye (okay, yes, Lord of The Flies freaked me out, but that wasn’t really written as a horror novel per se). I read every ghost story collection on my elementary school library’s shelves before moving on to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, and (of course) Stephen King. Meeting the devil in the New England forest, hearts that continue beating after being buried under the floorboards, psycho killer clowns — no problem. As long as I don’t have to see them anywhere but in my head. (I know they say that what you imagine in your head is always worse than what they can show you on screen, but my imagination is apparently really good at applying petroleum jelly to the lens so that nothing is too sharply focussed. I can’t explain it.) (This also helps when reading long, boring descriptive passages in highfalutin’ books, in case you were looking for tips on getting through, say, Dickens.) (Who wasn’t highfalutin’ in his day, but that’s another post — or just click that link.)

I grew out of most of my childhood fears eventually (I know you were concerned); my reasoning is that I started to acknowledge all of the real-life scary stuff in the world. These days I’m more likely to avoid the news if I don’t want to be frightened than to worry about what might be hiding in the closet (having the box spring on the floor eliminates that pesky monster under the bed thing). And if I want to read something scary I’ll find a memoir or a history (though to be honest I mostly read stuff that I don’t think will freak me out because I’m kind of an NPR junkie).

And then sometimes somebody comes along and combines it all for you in one package. Max Brooks’ new book, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is a novel (in case the “Zombie War” part didn’t give that away)…and a history…and a memoir. Of something that hasn’t happened. Yet.

Presented as an oral history written by a former employee of The United Nations Post(Zombie)war Commission whose survivor interviews were deleted from the UN’s final postwar report for being too “personal”, World War Z describes the Zombie War from the first reported cases of the disease that caused the dead to reanimate to the aftermath of the strategic plan that allowed the living to survive. Each interviewee “speaks” with a different voice, and the attention to reality-based detail is incredible — obviously, one suspends one’s disbelief when one reads fiction — especially science fiction — but if you’re capable of believing that war and disease (and poor governmental responses to both) exist, you’re capable of believing in the premise of this story.

Be forewarned, though, World War Z isn’t a light read — realistic descriptions of military strategy and political maneuverings can get dense, and you may need to refer back to earlier chapters to refresh your memory about who is speaking at a given time (the book is presented in three parts: before, during, and after the height of the conflict).

I’d love to tell you that if you like x genre of books, you’ll love this one, but I think the genre of “future histories” is pretty small. I will say that you don’t have to be particularly fond of horror novels or zombie tales to enjoy it (though a high tolerance for gore is probably a good idea; about what you’d need for any graphic war story should do it). Oh, and this is definitely a book for grownups and/or those grown up enough to handle some of the more disturbing aspects of war (and I’m not just talking about violence here).

Rating: Four out of five zombies jamboreeing (back to back, belly to belly…).

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And you can knit while you stand in line. November 6, 2006

Posted by marymac in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

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I know there hasn’t been much knitting content around here lately (or any content at all, for that matter). There are knitting progress pictures someplace which I will post when I can locate them, but everything I’m working on right now is some kind of super-seecrud project, so I can’t tell you much about the stuff. (Starsky is still in the time-out corner — I’m working my way around to forgiving it for allowing me to mess up the neck and shoulder shaping on one of the fronts. Also, searching for my attention span in order to get it right next time.)

Meanwhile, in case you haven’t heard it from eleventy-thousand other people already, tomorrow is Election Day in the US. If you’re not registered to vote right now, well, you’re out of luck for this election, but if you need to know where your polling place is or what questions are on the ballot, check out Vote411.org from the League of Women Voters (we love the League of Women Voters).

I’d like to be one of those noble people who says: “Just get out there and vote! I don’t care who you vote for!”

I’m not. I care who you vote for. But I’ve decided to try to be the bigger person and conserve my Big Meanieness until after the election. (Okay, I’m always the bigger person…. I’m trying to be one of those noble people.) So go. Vote for whomever you want. We’ll discuss the wisdom of your choice later.

They call it Filler, Filler…. November 3, 2006

Posted by marymac in Excuses for not posting, Me me me!.

Oh, hello.

Yes, I know it’s a little dusty around here. Work has been super crazy busy with extra crazy on top, so at not-work I’m only capable of writing about a paragraph at a time. I suppose that would make an interesting series of blogposts, but it could also get confusing (especially if I didn’t post them in order… I wonder if there’s a National Make Other People’s Life More Surreal Day….).

Anyhow, in lieu of a real post:

48 Things You Could Care Less About

  • 1. First name? marymac (well, Marypossiblynotmac). Technically hyphenated, but I smooshed the two names together in, like, kindergarten when I got tired of people calling me “Mary”.
    2. Were you named after anyone? My father and his mother always assumed I was named in part after her because her first name was Maria, but my mother insists that they’re just saints’ names.
    3. When did you last cry? Wednesday.
    4. Do you like your handwriting? Everyone I knew was obsessed with their handwriting from about sixth through ninth grade. That’s probably the last time mine I cared about it in terms of more than basic legibility.
    5. What is your favorite lunchmeat? Prosciutto made by my uncle.
    6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? I don’t know where I would meet me, but probably.
    7. Do you have a journal? Many, many journals.
    8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yup.
    9. Would you bungee jump? No. I might be convinced to jump out of an airplane, however. (I have done a high ropes course and some rock climbing. Not afraid of the heights.)
    10. What is your favorite cereal? Banana Nut Crunch.
    11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Not unless they’re tied very, very tightly.
    12. Do you think you’re strong? Depends on the context.
    13. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Banana. (With walnut smoosh-ins. From Herrell’s.)
    14. Shoe size? US Women’s 10
    15. Red or pink? Both, but more red.
    16. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? I’m a Big Meanie.
    17. Who do you miss the most? My grandma.
    18. What color pants, shirt and shoes are you wearing? Red shirt, blue jeans, brown shoes.
    19. Do you want everyone to send this back to you? 42!
    20. Last thing you ate? A sandwich.
    21. What are you listening to right now? Co-workers talking about Excel. …I mean, nothing! Birds!
    22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Burnt Sienna.
    23. Favorite smell? Lilacs
    24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Don’t remember.
    25. The first thing you notice about people you are attracted to? Eyes.
    26. Do you like the person you stole this from? Yes!
    27. Favorite drink? Shirley Temple. With extra maraschino cherries.
    28. Favorite sport? Baseball. Though my obsession with World Cup soccer last summer makes it a close second.
    29. Eye color? Buh-rown.
    30. Hat size? Dunno.
    31. Do you wear contacts? No. Tried them and hated them.
    32. Favorite food? It would be cruel to have to choose one over another.
    33. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy. (Honestly, I kind of prefer “realistic” — definitely not scary, though.)
    34. 42! (There was no question here. I know not why.)
    35. Summer or winter? Fall and spring, baby.
    36. Hugs or kisses? Depends on who’s doing the hugging and/or kissing. I come from a Kiss Hello people, so I’m very good at the airkissing.
    37. Favorite dessert? Cheesecake
    38. Who is most likely to respond? 42!
    39. Least likely to respond? 42!
    40. What books are you reading? Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. Little Children by Tom Perrotta is next, I think.
    41. What’s on your mouse pad? Can’t remember the last time I used a mousepad.
    42. What did you watch last night on TV? Ugly Betty and the first five minutes of Grey’s Anatomy.
    43. Favorite sounds? Waves hitting the shore.
    44. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles
    45. The furthest you’ve been from home? Italy.
    46. What is your special talent? Thinking too much.
    47. Where were you born? Bridgeport
    48. Who sent this to you? I stole it from Theresa.